Onions. My kitchen would be incomplete without them, forming the basis of almost every dish I cook. However, I rarely make them the star of the show.
Enter Maggie Beer. Needing no introduction, she is an awesome gardener and celebrity home cook, and this month in Gardening Australia magazine she tells us all about how to grow and cook with onions.
When I was sent a copy of the magazine, I immediately flicked to page 58 to check out her article and recipes. As you do! (Sorry to all the wonderful gardening articles, I’m just all about the food!). I’m not sure I’m up to growing onions yet, you all know I’m a notorious plant killer, but I can certainly handle a bit of cooking.
This recipe could not be simpler. Make some garlic/thyme croutons. Bake the onions in their skins until soft. Top with croutons and mozzarella cheese and bake again until melted. Easy peasy!
Maggie suggests serving them with a rocket salad to the side, but I didn’t think that would go down so well as a satisfying meal for hubby. I accompanied them with some chicken sausages and a chunky mash of carrots, potatoes and chickpeas.
Learn all about growing onions and see a much nicer picture of this finished dish in the latest issue of ABC Gardening Australia (May 2012 edition) - grab yourself a copy and check it out!
Do you use onions as a basis for your cooking?
Fig & Cherry was sent a complimentary copy of the May edition of Gardening Australia thanks to Jess at Morey Media.
Whole roasted red onions with buffalo mozzarella and ‘pulled’ bread
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking
- 1 large clove garlic
- 4-6 slices stale bread such as sourdough or ciabatta, crusts removed and torn into long pieces
- 8 large red onions, unpeeled
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup vino cotto (grape must, see here)
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 320g buffalo mozzarella, divided into 8 pieces
- rocket leaves, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 220C. Pour olive oil into a small container, then add garlic and process with a stab mixer (stick blender) or pound with a mortar and pestle until a paste forms.
2. Place bread in a baking tray then pour over oil mixture and rub it into bread. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crisp and golden, then set aside.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 200C. Rub whole onions with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a small baking dish that is just big enough to hold them snugly in 1 layer. Drizzle vino cotto evenly over onions and sprinkle with half of the thyme. Roast onions for 60-90 minutes or until tender.
4. Peel back the skin a little from the tops. Using a small, sharp knife, cut a criss cross in the onion tops, pulling the sides away to create a ‘crater’. top each onion with some of the pulled bread, 2 pieces of mozzarella and remaining thyme. Return to the oven for 3-4 minutes or until mozzarella has melted.
5. Serve onions immediately with a rocket salad to the side.